Formatting a script

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  06 June 2005
Formatting a script


I'm new to this scriptwriting business and I was hoping that someone could possibly show me some ways to format a script. Should I write it centered, with the dialogue aligned to the left? Or should I align it to the left and just write it like a college essay paper?

I appreciate any help that you guys/gals can help with.
  06 June 2005
It isn't that easy. There are more than one way to write a script. if it is a screenplay then it is a different format then a TV script. As for plays, again it is different from both. A hint is to make sure you have the right help and more than one source. I started, no by goin to school and writing but by buying books and disecting them. There are some books you can buy that have formatted stories, but the best one to get is called "The complete Guide to Standard Script Formats". I beleive there are 3 books (TV scripts, Screenplays, and Playwrites.). the authors are Cole/haag.

Hope this helps alot as I said before there is no easy way to show the formats. Alot more to it! GL.
  06 June 2005
ok thanks. I'll look into that book you mentioned.
  07 July 2005
ok, I looked at some scripts on here and saw how a few of the writers formatted theirs. I was wondering if the centered style was the most common or would you suggest I jot down ideas on paper first and then format it the way I see fit?

  07 July 2005
Originally Posted by Saikin: ok, I looked at some scripts on here and saw how a few of the writers formatted theirs. I was wondering if the centered style was the most common or would you suggest I jot down ideas on paper first and then format it the way I see fit?

First of all, do not post scripts here. Provide a link to a text file (see the sticky note at the top of the forum). I know you see people do it, but they shouldn't be. I don't know whether they haven't bothered reading the rules or whether they think they're too good for rules.

Second, don't get your formatting info from looking at scripts posted here. It's not possible to format correctly on the forum.

Lastly, go to Google or to a book store and research screenwriting. There are tons of books and web pages that give far more detailed information than you'll get here. People on forums generally don't have time to go into a tremendous amount of detail, and asking how to write a script is as complicated as asking "how do I design and build a car?". It's not something that can be answered in two or three sentences.

  07 July 2005
I see what you mean. But I'm asking how did you setup the way you write your scripts. Like, " I thought aligning my descriptions, actions, and general material to the left and the dialogue/monologue to the center would be best to seperate and let the reader know...." That's what I meant. I know it's hard to format a script but what you generally do when you write is all I was asking.

Thanks for replying.
  07 July 2005
I always use Final Draft which is an excellent program for writing scripts. You can find more information at

It has a reasonable price and works like a charm.
Hope this helps.

  07 July 2005
script formatting

There are a few script writing programs out there (such as Final Draft, or Sophocles), that will automatically do the aligning for you. It is important to get it exactly right if you are ever going to submit the script to an agency or a contest. Most agencies, studios, etc., will not accept a script if it is not formatted exactly correct!

The formatting is complex, as one person already replied. There are a number of different indents for many different headings, such as an action, dialogue, name, location, etc.

Generally a location is named first with definition such as: Ext, Brooklyn Bridge, night.
Then any description needed (concise is best) such as: It is foggy and there are BOAT SOUNDS.
A character's name should be centered, etc.

This is just a hint.
  07 July 2005
Like bperry said, you should try Final Draft. They have a demo version on their site. It's easy and simple to use. It's easier than sayin 2,5 in left margin for... you know.

Am I drinking? As soon as I'm done.

  07 July 2005
I've downloaded the Final Draft 7 demo.'s very very sweet! It does everything for me. It auto-fills everything, I type V and it fills in Vangurd. Very nice. I think I'm going to buy the full version as sona s school starts.

Thanks everyone for your help. now go to Marked Eclipse...a script and review my script so I can make it better.
  07 July 2005
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